College Entrance Testing: What You Need to Know

 
TOTS
Do you have a High School student who is college bound? Are you overwhelmed about all of the college admission requirements from testing to credits and essays? My son is a junior in High School and the heat is now on as we we prepare for College. Here are a few tips for you when it comes to admission exams. Keep in mind that you can take SAT/ACT up to 3 times (you do pay again each time), but taking it more than once has a huge benefit! You can choose your highest score to submit to the Colleges and Universities of your choice. 
 
I also recommend starting a (free) account at Collegeboard.com around the PSAT. Once the PSAT scores are registered, the College Board site, which is the main PSAT/SAT website you need to refer to for registering for tests, will take the scores and areas tested and create a personalized study plan for that child for the SAT. It will focus on exact area the child did poorly without spending too much time on the areas they did well in. Also, the SAT has a mandatory essay and ACT has an optional essay which is encouraged. 
 
PSAT
 
For Sophomore and Juniors
Testing dates are in the Fall on a particular date (usually October)
You must ask school or testing facility earliest registration date or spots can fill up
Typically about $14 
2 Hours and 10 Minutes long
Tests Critical Reading, Math & Writing Skills
Is a practice for SAT AND qualifies student for many scholarsips
 
SAT
 
For Senior Winter/Spring Year (some also take it in Spring as a Junior for practice then again as a Senior)
Testing dates vary, so check with your school or the College Board website link below
Must pre-register
Typically costs $50-$85
3 Hour test
Scores per subject 200-800 & essay scored as 2-12 & multiple choice/writing 20-80
Tests Verbal & Math reasoning skills with a new writing section
Is used to measure students knowledge for college admission, class placement and advise students for course selections
 
ACT
 
For SeniorWinter/Spring Year or Junior Spring. You can take multiple times and send your best score
Testing dates are year round
Must pre-register
Typically costs $38-$55 depending on if you choose to take the writing portion also
2 Hours 55 Minutes
Scores: A bit complicated. See: http://www.actstudent.org/scores/understand/
Tests English, Math, Reading, Science and an optional Writing
It is recommended for all 4-year bound students. It makes you a bit more visible to colleges and opens up more scholarship opportunities
More Information at: http://www.actstudent.org/
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